What God has in store for me in 2010...

"When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. God’s Decree." Jeremiah 29:13-14 (The Message)

I love my life. I love the story God has written for me so far; He is the most creative Author I know. I do not desire to write my own life story. I desire something more extraordinary than what I could ever imagine for myself. In 2010, I want to be more strategic about creating "space" for God to move...and allow Him to make this year more extraordinary than ever before. Lord, this is Your blank canvas; this is Your blank journal. I am only a tool that records Your masterpiece. Do what You do best...produce something extraordinary from this ordinary child. I wait expectantly, with my typing fingers in position :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Choosing to SEE

For Christmas, my husband bought me the book Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman. I’ve been so inspired by this family since their tragic accident, and even more so this year when Allan and I had a chance to see them in concert a few months back.  For those of you who may not know, Steven Curtis Chapman is a well-known Christian singer/songwriter. I’ve been listening to his music since I started attending a Christian school in seventh grade.  I was always moved by Steven and his wife Mary Beth’s story of adoption. After they had three children, they decided to adopt three girls from China. On May of 2008, a tragic car accident took the life of their youngest adopted daughter, Maria. Their son Will was driving the SUV that hit Maria (You can watch a recent interview with the Chapman family on Good Morning America by clicking here). From the day of this terrible accident, this family has constantly poured out to others with their songs and stories of HOPE that they have gained through their darkest moments.  Mary Beth published an autobiography that described the journey of her life, and how she had seen God’s hand every step of the way.  No words would give justice to how inspired I was. I read it in three days (it would have been one day if I didn’t have two girls to take care of!). 
She was brutally honest and open in her book.  She described her pain in such authentic and tangible ways. I cried a lot (sometimes uncontrollably), but her sense of humor also made me laugh out loud many times.  Her message was clear: the pain is REAL. It hurts. Many times, it’s unbearable.  But because she has God, she has true HOPE.  She can choose to SEE this hope in midst of her pain.
When Allan and I saw them in concert, Steven sang a very well-known hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul.”

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Steven also shared the history behind this hymn. The writer of this hymn, Horatio Gates Spafford, had received news that his four daughters were killed in a shipwreck. While sailing across the Atlantic to reunite with his wife (the only survivor in his family from the wreck), he was shown the place where his daughters had died. He then went into his cabin and penned the words above.
It’s hard to believe that someone can truly say, “It is well with my soul,” after such tragedy.  Yet after reading Mary Beth’s book, along with other stories of real hope I’ve encountered, and even reflecting on my own life, I know without a doubt that it was not a fake front that Spafford was trying to display.  Even in midst of the most unthinkable pain, even when you don’t know if you can breathe, there is hope that can only come from God. It surpasses human logic. It surpasses all the painful emotions. It’s rooted in the deepest part of our being…that’s the part that he knew was going to be OK. Why? Because God dwells in that deepest place, along with all that comes with Him (His peace, His strength, and even His joy).  It doesn’t mean it won't be difficult, but God provides the strength. It doesn’t mean it won’t be painful, but God provides the comfort. It doesn’t mean there won’t be despair, but God provides the HOPE.  There’s a voice that’s louder than the pain that says, “You are mine. I am with you. You are going to be okay.” How do I know this? Because although I have not experienced pain to such depth, I too have heard this same voice many times…and it’s been more real to me than anything I’ve heard with my ears. 
In her book, Mary Beth constantly shared how she had to choose to SEE this truth, even in midst of darkness.  The pain is not something she’ll ever get over, but she’ll get through it. She recently posted this in her blog: “My heart is broken, cracked and glued back together and the process hurts!  Maria is my baby, and I’m temporarily living this Earthly life without her.  On any given day, it still takes my breath away, and on any given day, I don’t want to get up.  I’ve been mad, mean, angry and fist shaking still, and still, I have a patient Heavenly Father pursuing me and healing me bit by bit.  That is what gives me the Hope to put one foot in front of the other, and walk towards heaven.  I’m on my way Maria, I can’t wait to SEE you and all that slobber you took with you. The tears still come, and my heart still broke, but I am claiming the truth that I will SEE you again.
This song that Steven wrote after their loss brings me to tears every time:
Just Have To Wait” (words and music by Steven Curtis Chapman)

Well, I can't wait to SEE your smile again,
The one when your eyes disappear along with all my troubles
And I can't wait to hear you sing a song
Maybe “Jesus Loves Me” or a song you learned up there

I can't wait to hear your mama laugh
The way that only you can make her laugh when you get silly
And I can't wait to SEE you in her arms
I know the wound so deep inside her heart is healed for good

And I can't wait to dance with you again
Knowing that this time we dance, we'll never have to end

And I can't wait to SEE your sisters play
The way they do when all of you are playing all together
I can't wait to watch your brother's face
When he can finally SEE with his own eyes
Everything's okay

But I, oh, I just have to wait
'Cause I know that day is coming
So I, oh, I just have to wait

My prayer is that whoever is reading this…that you truly have this HOPE that goes beyond yourself and this world. Hope that you can cling on to, even in your darkest hours.  This hope has a name…His name is Jesus.

PS. I will be posting my final post for this blog soon. I plan to start another one in February (which will include the stories of FaithHopeLove that I mentioned a few posts back).

1 comment:

  1. HOPE! such a powerful story. just reading your post made me cry like a baby! i will have to read the book.